TMC is an independent, primarily volunteer organization that relies on ad revenue to cover its operating costs. Please consider whitelisting TMC on your ad blocker or making a Paypal contribution here: paypal.me/SupportTMC

Any Updates to Premium Sound in New 2016 Model S?

Discussion in 'Model S' started by Logan5, Jun 28, 2016.

  1. Logan5

    Logan5 Member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2015
    Messages:
    19
    Location:
    Newton, MA
    Hi All- This is my first post. I just ordered a Model S and am in my one week grace period. I have thus far selected the standard sound system based upon past posts in this forum that suggest there is little advantage to the premium sound system.

    Have there been any changes to the premium sound system in the updated 2016 Model S to make it worth now considering? It doesn't seem that any features have been added so my question is mainly in reference to the acoustics.

    Thanks in advance for your advice.
     
  2. msnow

    msnow Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2015
    Messages:
    4,179
    Location:
    SoCal
    Don't know if the refresh speakers are different but I doubt it. I do strongly disagree with your premise that "there is little advantage to the premium sound system".
     
    • Informative x 1
  3. Logan5

    Logan5 Member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2015
    Messages:
    19
    Location:
    Newton, MA
    Most threads I've read on the subject indicate there's little discernible difference between the two, that the premium doesn't necessarily sound any better, and that if there is any advantage it's not worth the price differential. At least that appears to be the consensus.

    What's your take?
     
  4. msnow

    msnow Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2015
    Messages:
    4,179
    Location:
    SoCal
    To me it sounds much better. As to whether it's worth the money that's up to each person to decide. My thought process was along the lines that I'm spending over $100k for a car so I'm going to get the better sound system.
     
  5. aznt1217

    aznt1217 Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2012
    Messages:
    2,238
    Location:
    New York, NY
    Nope no change. It really comes down to the following things (for me at least):

    1. How loud you listen to your music
    2. Audio Quality of the Source
    3. Do you like Bass?

    I prefer the sound system because I like more Bass and I listen to my music very loudly and I cannot stand muddiness or distortion. I also listen to FLAC Audio so the High Fidelity Sound System was necessary for me. Also if you listen to XM/Sirius, you need the package and the sunroof.

    The base sound system is quite good though for what it is.
     
  6. zambono

    zambono Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2016
    Messages:
    752
    Location:
    DC
    The premium sound system on my first test drive was very disappointing but I recently took a 24hr test drive where I had music in a USB and I must say that it sounds pretty good. No need for aftermarket, I did hear hiss at volume 10 but it could have been my music and I didn't do a through test at that level. I don't know if the hardware has changed but the 24hr test was on a refresh and the original test was months ago.
     
  7. Speedeamon

    Speedeamon Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2016
    Messages:
    20
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    Who makes the audio for Tesla?
     
  8. Mike K

    Mike K Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2013
    Messages:
    610
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Tesla makes Audio for Tesla and anyone that tells you the systems aren't different hasn't listened to music loud enough to know. The base system is comically bad.
     
  9. zambono

    zambono Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2016
    Messages:
    752
    Location:
    DC
  10. chillaban

    chillaban Member

    Joined:
    May 5, 2016
    Messages:
    577
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    I agree. I was given an extended test drive loaner with standard sound, and I could not believe how bad the standard audio sounded. Note that I've always paid for premium audio on my German cars, from the so-so A4/BMW upgraded sound packages up to the incredible $5900 Bang and Olufsen pop-up tweeters system on my previous A6. So I might have very spoiled standards for what I consider acceptable audio….


    The HiFi system is about on par with upgraded audio in my previous cars. Not quite B&O Advanced levels, but pretty close. The biggest difference between standard and hi-fi is the ability to reproduce bass and low-mids without losing treble fidelity. Note that you can play around with the EQ on the standard audio to get some more Bose-like mids (not really bass, more mid-woofers), but you also lose out on a lot of vocal clarity and treble stereo effects.

    Overall, if $2500 isn't gonna break your bank, and you care about audio quality, I'd recommend going for the premium audio. The premium Tesla audio is average compared to luxury car upgraded OEM audio packages, but on the other hand the standard Tesla audio is far far below average compared to even base no-option German cars.


    (P.S. Note that at least for Audi and BMW, the tier of audio they offer in the USA as "base" is actually an upgraded package compared to what they offer for the European markets… That might partly explain the difference in perception)
     
  11. zambono

    zambono Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2016
    Messages:
    752
    Location:
    DC
    In europe it's all an upgrade, want a steering wheel with that 200 euro please, lol
     
    • Funny x 2
  12. Zybd1201

    Zybd1201 Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2016
    Messages:
    229
    Location:
    California
    It depends on how you use your sound system. The standard sound system was actually really really bad. I'm 32 and I expect a decent sound system in the car but I have never installed an after market system or upgraded the sound in a car I purchased previously. However, after being in Tesla with the standard sound it was obvious to me I would not be happy without the upgraded audio.

    I have seen the posts here about how the premium audio isn't worth it but I think that is very much a reflection of the person making that post's expectations and listening habits. However, I think the vast majority of 20,30,40 year old folks would get in a standard Tesla and be like "WTF, this is the sound I get for 100k!?!"
     
  13. Mickie

    Mickie Member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2016
    Messages:
    216
    Location:
    Chicago
    I originally opted out of premium audio. I then took another test drive with one that had it. It passed my simple standard of hurting my ears while still exhibiting beautiful fidelity and having room to go even louder. I promptly told my rep to add it onto my configuration once returning to the showroom.

    Also to note regarding upgrading with aftermarket later, I preferred a factory clean install and having it thrown into the 1.74% financing, rather than coming cash out of pocket later.
     
  14. STbreaker

    STbreaker Member

    Joined:
    May 5, 2016
    Messages:
    218
    Location:
    Ann Arbor, Michigan
    The standard sound system seems fine if you don't listen to music with bass. I chose to upgrade because I listen to a lot of music with bass and even sub-bass. It won't blow you away but I certainly don't feel the need to Reus or Light Harmonic upgrade on top of it. Overall, I find the sound of the system to be very clear in the mids and highs. I'm hearing things that I'd previously only heard in my nicer headphones.
     
  15. msnow

    msnow Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2015
    Messages:
    4,179
    Location:
    SoCal
    So leaving out the ageism, everyone has ears and from studies in this forum as well as others the target age for Tesla and other cars in this class is 40-70 with a very high income or net worth (beyond 20 and 30 and many 40 somethings). The cost is probably higher than it should be but I think long term you would be unhappy with the standard audio package.
     
  16. AmpedRealtor

    AmpedRealtor Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2013
    Messages:
    4,686
    Location:
    Buckeye, AZ
    The UHFS is amazing, it's like night and day versus the standard sound. I wouldn't buy another Model S without this upgrade.
     
  17. Zybd1201

    Zybd1201 Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2016
    Messages:
    229
    Location:
    California
    Sigh. Sorry if I offended you.

    Hearing physiology and expectations are very different at 70 than they are at 30. Just a fact. Just like it is different from age 30 to age 15.

    We change as we age and that is perfectly ok!
     
  18. msnow

    msnow Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2015
    Messages:
    4,179
    Location:
    SoCal
    #18 msnow, Jun 28, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2016
    No problem. It's called Presbyacusis and starts at 30 so while you're right that hearing gets worse over time I'm afraid you're in the same boat albeit incrementally better but not as good as a 20 year old ;). But, you're missing my point, no matter how old you are you can tell the difference between a poor and great sound system (assuming you're into that like we apparently are). Fair?
     
  19. Logan5

    Logan5 Member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2015
    Messages:
    19
    Location:
    Newton, MA
    Thanks everyone for the feedback. Based on your replies and the well taken point that if I'm buying the car I may as well go all in (an argument my wife does not accept) I upgraded to the UHFS.

    Does anyone know how to hide the price on the final manifest? J/K
     
    • Like x 1
  20. chillaban

    chillaban Member

    Joined:
    May 5, 2016
    Messages:
    577
    Location:
    San Jose, CA

    Haha I would agree with your wife that checking every option box on a car doesn't necessarily lead to happiness, especially if you ever plan to trade in the car and don't want to be insulted by the offer!


    We just wanted to make sure that you understood that there is a noticeable audio quality difference between UHFS and standard audio. I would definitely be concerned if you made a decision without trying both of them, just because you read someone's opinion online that there isn't a noticeable difference. It seems like those who feel otherwise outnumber him 20:1 :D
     

Share This Page